Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67;Psalm 106:1-5; Matthew 9:9-13
“Never take my son back there!” (Genesis 24:8)
You can be sure that Abraham was thinking about God’s promise to him as he buried his wife Sarah. The time had come to pass the torch to a new generation. Isaac needed to find a wife, and the continuation of God’s covenant depended on who that wife would be. So Abraham gave detailed instructions to his servant on how to find the perfect woman.
Why was Isaac’s wife so important? Abraham and Sarah had received the promise from God; they had left their homeland in faith, and with a common vision they started a new life in response to God’s call. But now it was Isaac’s turn. He couldn’t marry a local Canaanite girl who might not share the vision. And neither could he return to his ancestral home, because God had called his father to leave that land and found a new nation in a whole new land. No, Isaac had to find a woman who was willing to leave her home and join him in far off Canaan. He head to find a woman who would embrace God’s unique call for this special family.
Clearly, Isaac was not disappointed in his choice. Rebekah took her place in the line of matriarchs who joined their husbands in honoring God and dedicating themselves to his purposes. Like Sarah before her and Rachel after her, she helped her husband to stay faithful to God. She supported him in his dedication to the Lord and taught her children about the covenant they were called to embrace.
What a beautiful image of the Sacrament of Marriage this reading gives us! It tells us how wonderful it is when a husband and wife work together toward a common goal. It also gives us a glimpse into St. Paul’s teaching about how the love between a husband and wife can manifest Jesus’ love for his Church. If you are married, take some time today to celebrate your life together. Thank the Lord for the gift that your spouse is to you. Tell your husband or wife how grateful you are for your life together. And if you are single, pray for marriages everywhere. May the Lord pour extra grace on all married couples today!
“Father, strengthen every husband and wife in unity so they can manifest your covenant love to the world!”~WAU